Homegrown salad

I have complained a lot about the growing conditions here in Cowtown; everything at first seemed so foreign to the green thumb I thought I had developed back in the midwest. But I do have a success story in my garden this year: two rows of mixed lettuces. Last fall, I was down at Marshall Grain & Feed purchasing a rain barrel, and a display of seed packets from a company called Botanical Interests caught my eye. I purchased a packet of Mesclun Farmer’s Market Blend and an Oak Leaf Blend, sprinkled the seeds into a couple rows in early October, and from early November on we’ve had fresh organic baby lettuces pretty consistently. While the packets say to make successive plantings every three weeks from just before the last frost until just after the first frost, that’s not the case in our part of Texas (the seeds come from Colorado). Our lettuce has been going all winter (maybe in part because our garden is protected on two sides). Also, we have never had to make any successive plantings—I’ve been pinching off baby leaves but leaving the roots intact and they just keep producing. We thought the lettuce was done a few times when the temperature dropped and the leaves drooped like they do when you accidentally freeze them in a cold part of the fridge, but still being in the ground, they perked back up as the temperatures rose. Look for Botanical Interests seeds (many of their varieties are organic) locally at Marshall Grain or Elizabeth Anna's

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